Local opinions mixed on recall | SierraSun.com

Local opinions mixed on recall

To recall or not to recall – it’s a statewide question that the people of Truckee are taking seriously on a local level.

“I think it’s nuts – I really do,” said Lucy Greene while eating the daily special at the Truckee Senior Center last week. “I think it’s costing us money we don’t have. It’s crazy.”

Greene said the California recall vote, coming up on Tuesday, has been the topic of lively conversation at the senior center lately. In fact, Paul Valentine and Donald St. Clair had been discussing the recall already when the Sierra Sun approached them at their table.

“I think [the recall] is a good idea,” Valentine said. “Mr. Davis has overextended himself, giving and giving until doomsday. Let the other candidates give it a shot.”

Valentine said he is concerned about the future of seniors in Truckee and hopes a different governor can improve the quality of life for California’s aging population. Locally, Valentine has proposed a one-eighth of a percent town sales tax to improve the quality of life for Truckee seniors.

St. Clair, who manages the Truckee Donner Senior Apartments, said he wants Davis out of office.

“[Davis] has put his personal self ahead of the state of California,” he said.

St. Clair said if he could he would vote for both of the leading Republican candidates – Tom McClintock and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“Unfortunately the Republicans have the best candidates,” St. Clair said.

“It’s stupid. It’s stupid,” Valentine said, shaking his head. “There are too many of them (candidates).”

St. Clair agreed that he is frustrated with the process of politics.

“Politicians know about getting votes, but they don’t know about governing,” he said.

In the classroom

People won’t find students discussing the recall at will in Truckee’s classrooms. It has taken some prompting from their teachers.

“It’s really hard to get a 17-year-old interested in a recall election to tell the truth,” said Jason Estabrook, a government teacher at Tahoe Truckee High School. “Arnold Schwarzenegger catches their eye, but I try to get them to look past that.”

Estabrook said he only has two 18-year-olds in his class, but government teacher Patty McCaffrey has a few more. She has been using an educational insert from The Sacramento Bee to engage her students in the special election.

In class McCaffrey’s students have been writing opinion pieces and discussing recall and initiative.

Another way students can get involved is by working at polling places. Eastabrook said some of the polling places ask for 18-year-olds.

Back at the senior center, 92-year-old Evelyne Smallwood lamented that she wouldn’t have the opportunity to volunteer her time for Tuesday’s election.

Because of reprecincting, there is no polling place at the senior center for the recall election, so Smallwood had to break her 20-year record of volunteering during elections.

“I’ve volunteered many years,” she said. “I’ve sent my absentee ballot, but I’m sad I won’t get to volunteer like I normally do.”

Even though California’s recall election has been dubbed a “circus,” for people like Smallwood, being a part of the democratic process is not something to be taken lightly.

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